June 02, 2022
The arrival of spring is wonderful: longer days, warmer weather, and the promise of summer right around the corner. Unless, of course, you suffer from spring allergies. Allergy sufferers know spring because of the sudden onset of sniffles, headaches, and other telltale symptoms.
Hay fever, as spring allergies are often known, feels like a cold although it’s not caused by a virus. It’s caused by inhaling allergens in the air.
Are you battling an onset of spring allergies? Here are five things you can do to fight back:
When it comes to fighting allergies, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Allergens are particularly prevalent on dry, windy days, so avoid exposure by limiting your time outdoors. Keeping car windows up, using air conditioning, and avoiding activities such as mowing the lawn can all reduce exposure.
Allergen counts aren’t static — they change daily based on location and conditions. Local news outlets publish pollen counts, and by being aware of these levels, you can adjust the preventive actions you take, including taking medications proactively. Pollen counts are also high early in the morning, so postponing activities to later in the day may be helpful.
Try as you might, it’s impossible to keep all allergens outside your home. Since some will inevitably slip in, keeping your indoor air as clean as possible is important to give your body a break. Make sure you use high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters in your air conditioner and bedroom, and vacuum regularly to remove irritants in carpets.
If you’re experiencing allergy symptoms, there are many over-the-counter medicines that may provide relief. Antihistamines, nasal sprays, and decongestants are all available at your local pharmacy. If these approaches aren’t working, you can try rinsing out your sinuses with a saline solution, which may remove irritants and reduce symptoms.
If all else fails, make an appointment to see your doctor or an allergist. They may offer a steroid spray or other medications to combat symptoms. Depending on the severity, your doctor may refer you to an allergist who will test you to confirm the allergen causing your symptoms. This specialist may recommend shots or pills to expose your body to allergens and gradually build up your tolerance.
There’s no reason why you should dread the onset of the spring season, even if you suffer from seasonal allergies. Focus on prevention and quickly treating symptoms when you have them so you can get the most out of the spring season.